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How Do I Know If My Dog Is In Joint Pain?

Is your best friend in pain?

Large dogs especially can be prone to a lot of different types of joint and bone problems, from hip dysplasia to arthritis, and oftentimes you won’t know they are in pain until it is too late to help them.

It’s important to keep your best friend healthy and active throughout his life, and that includes watching out for the warning signs of joint pain in big dogs.

About half of adults over the age of 65 have arthritis pain, while an astounding 80% of dogs over the age of 8 show signs of arthritis pain. The bigger they are, the more likely they are to experience some sort of joint pain – big dogs are more prone to injuries than small dogs, to start. If you have a large to giant breed dog you have to start planning to protect their joints while they are pups.

For starters, lots of people like to have hardwood or other slick flooring to make things easier to clean, but your dog’s joints are more protected when you have carpet (we suggest one of these dog-friendly rugs). It’s also super important to make sure that your dog has a bed that is both big enough and supportive enough for his larger-than-average frame.

If your dog is showing signs of slowing down, it’s not just old age – he might actually be in pain. If your dog no longer gets up to greet you at the door, doesn’t seem interested in going on walks, or growls when you pet him, it’s time to take action.

Protecting your dog starts when he is a puppy. In order to prevent joint pain in your big dog:

  • Feed your puppy large breed puppy food – it slows his growth to prevent future joint damage
  • Make sure your dog is eating the right kind of food and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Get enough exercise with your dog – at least a ten-minute walk every day
  • Avoid high impact exercises and things like jumping into the car – use a ramp
  • Use a high-quality dog bed with at least two layers of foam that has adequate room for your pal to stretch out

Protecting your dog throughout his life means more happy years in the end. If your dog is already in pain, focus on doing everything you can to alleviate his suffering and to get him moving again. Learn more about spotting the signs of joint pain in big dogs from this infographic from Big Barker!

big barker joint pain

About the Author Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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